Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) – Review

20170504 Movie Review - Rogue One (2016)

I wouldn’t call myself a die-hard Star Wars fan, but I did grow up watching the original trilogy and falling in love with it. You could imagine my surprise when I was a teenager and it was announced that we were going to witness a new trilogy. You could also then imagine my horror when we received said trilogy. I mean, they weren’t all that bad, but they weren’t great either. I understand that it was George Lucas who directed Hayden Christensen to act like a wooden plank, and that he also wanted *shudders* Jar Jar Binks to be an addition for the younger generation. All the fans wanted were more of what we had grown to love and enjoy.

Flash forward seventeen years and not only have we already witnessed The Force Awakens, but we have also received a stand-alone movie/tie-in movie to Episode IV: A New Hope, Rogue One. Now, it must also be pointed out that J.J. Abrams must be doing something right if he can make my wife of all people enjoy not only Star Trek, but Star Wars. I’ve been trying to get her to watch anything Star Wars related for years. Who knew it would take this guy to pull it off:

20170504 Movie Review - Rogue One (2016) - Abrams

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Heading in to a stand-alone movie however was new territory, as all that we had for reference for the time line of this move was it fit in between episodes three and four. Her very first question whilst sitting in the gold lounge cinema seating eating our sliders and salt and pepper squid: “Does anyone die in this movie?”

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With that out the way, I was free to enjoy the movie. And enjoy it I did. The scene on Jedha where Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Endor *ahem* Andor (Diego Luna) get in to a fire fight with some Stormtroopers was amazing, where we get to see the blind Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang) show us what they’re made of. It wouldn’t be a Star Wars movie without a sassy droid accompanying the crew, and in Rogue One is no exception. K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), a refurbished KX-series security droid of the Galactic Empire’s, provides some very analytical one-liners and the occasional muscle. And of course, there is that final corridor scene where we get to see Darth Vader using his brute force to make his way to 1977 Princess Leia. If you have seen it and want to relive it again, here it is below. If you haven’t seen it, there are spoilers. But then if you’ve made it this far and don’t care about spoilers go right ahead.

The other scene that needs a mention is the battle both on, and above, Scarif. To be honest, this is the point of the movie where everyone perishes. So it is expected to be a grand affair with both sides pulling out all the stops. Rebel setting off carefully planned explosions to give the illusion that they have more ground troops. The Empire fighting back with their AT-ACTs, which are upgraded AT-ATs with cargo beds for the transportation of troops. The Hammerhead class ships above the planet using their strength to force one destroyer in to another and create an opening for the remaining forces to enter the fray. All of this to help/stop Erso from uploading the plans to the Death Star and have it sent to the Rebel forces.

Who doesn’t love beach warfare with stunning views, explosions, and giant robots firing lasers?

Given that today is Star Wars Day (May the 4th), you should watch this movie. Also, watch the rest of the rest of the franchise. It is well worth it.

May the Force be with you!

Watch the trailer below:

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